It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

Tip #5 of Seven Tips for Getting Along Better with Your Kids

We are publishing this article on this blog as a series. We might or might not cover all the tips sequentially, but you will be able to separate out all of them by entering "seven tips" in the search box on the right and clicking it. Although these tips are part of my book, If My Kid’s So Nice, Why’s He Driving ME Crazy?, they really are applicable to ALL young people, not just difficult ones.

Tip #5: Lighten Up

If we're not careful, we'll become so overcome by parenthood we'll neglect the opportunities to enjoy it. Hang on to your sense of humor; you'll need it. Spontaneity is a great source of fun, and when done in good faith, it almost always improves relationships. Food fights and water-gun duels are messy, but loads of fun. No harm is intended or taken, and everyone joins in on the cleanup.

Let your kids know that parents aren't perfect. Encourage them to let you know if you do or say something that bothers them or hurts their feelings. If you were wrong, apologize. Everyone makes mistakes, but those will real class stand responsible and try to set things straight as best they can.

Want to make a big impression on your children? Let them evaluate themselves. When given an opportunity to evaluate themselves, youngsters are usually tougher than the adults.

Here's an idea I got from a teacher. She would give her students an assignment, along with a simple checklist that had an age-appropriate sticker paper-clipped to it. Any student who completed the checklist items (stayed in their seat, worked silently and completed the assignment) could turn in the assignment and keep the sticker. That teacher has used that little idea for more than 30 years in her classroom. It would not be difficult to modify this idea for home use. For example, prepay a child for doing an extra task, and let THEM determine if they earned the money or not.

 James Sutton, Psychologist

June 24, 2006 - Posted by | Difficult Child, Parents

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